Yu Darvish is planning to throw off a mound Friday for the first time since skipping his last scheduled start for the Texas Rangers because of neck stiffness.
The AL West leaders said Darvish threw long toss Thursday and reported a "marked improvement" in how he felt. He had also thrown some in the outfield the previous day.
Darvish was scratched about 2½ hours before his scheduled start Tuesday night against Oakland. He woke up what morning with a sore neck.
The next scheduled turn in the rotation for the rookie right-hander from Japan is Sunday's regular-season home finale against the Los Angeles Angels.
Manager Ron Washington has said all week that expects Darvish (16-9, 3.90 ERA) to being ready Sunday.